Southpaw, a growing fast-food franchisee, on Thursday said it has acquired nearly 40 Taco Bell restaurants in the Atlanta market.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. But the deal will give the Greenwich, Conn.-based Southpaw a major U.S. market of Taco Bell restaurants, giving them 115 units in the Mexican fast-food chain. It also operates 65 Dunkin locations, giving the company 180 restaurants in eight states that generate $300 million per year.
The company currently operates restaurants in the Mid-Atlantic region and in Kentucky. This deal, the company said, gives Southpaw “geographic diversity and scale within its Taco Bell network.”
“We have been successfully operating Taco Bell restaurants for more than five years and take great pride in the high-value products and loyal customer base the franchise has built,” Judd Wishnow, co-founder and co-CEO of Southpaw, said in a statement.
Southpaw last made a deal in December 2021, when it acquired 34 Taco Bell restaurants in the Mid-Atlantic.
Taco Bell is generally one of the most sought-after restaurant chains by major franchise investors, given its relative lack of any major competitor—it is many times the combined size of the next two largest Mexican fast-food chains, Del Taco and Taco John’s. As such, franchisees have paid often-high multiples to get their hands on a market of Taco Bell restaurants.
The deal may also be a sign of an improving market for franchisee acquisitions. Many large deals have slowed of late as the pries buyers are willing to pay have come down, giving sellers less of a reason to unload any locations.
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